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Department of Health launches new HIV prevention campaign for gay and bisexual men in England

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  1. Liam the God 24 Apr 2013, 11:05am

    What a great day to announce it: The day the regulations making competition in Healthcare COMPULSORY are voted on by the House of Lords! This is a piss-poor smokescreen by a government without mandate! Yes it’s a good thing, but I find the timing reprehensible!

  2. Testing should be quick convenient and 100% confidential.
    No feedback to the GP surgery-which is a minefield of gossip in my opinion.
    Drop in centres in all cities with immediate results and NO QUESTIONS would be ideal.

  3. keith, moral instructor to deviants 24 Apr 2013, 11:17am

    Why is HIV a prevention campaign for gay and bisexual even introduced?
    Because the HIV plague is 50 times more likely in homo males. That is a fact.
    What a promiscuous lot of rectum abusers.

    1. Liam the God 24 Apr 2013, 11:25am


    2. Spanner1960 24 Apr 2013, 11:39am

      Bored again Keith?

      1. keith, moral instructor to deviants 24 Apr 2013, 11:55am

        I am bored with the gay brigade blaming everyone and everything else for the entirely avoidable consequences of their filthy perversions.

        1. keith, moral instructor to filth 26 Apr 2013, 8:08am

          I suppose it beats playing Russian Roulette with ones rectum!

      2. Liam the God 24 Apr 2013, 12:38pm

        They left the door to his padded cell open again. Or he’s on Day Release. Best not to approach the foaming dog.

  4. As someone who volunteered for sexual health and HIV prevention groups in the 90’s it breaks my heart to have seen all that work, which reduced infection rates lost over time. Everyone these days seems to think it’s someone’s responsibility to reduce the spread of HIV and other STD’s. funnily enough they are perfectly correct to think that, it’s just a shame they don’t realise the someone is the person they see in the mirror every morning. There was a group of ten lads I hung out with in 91-93 there are only two of us still alive, and funnily enough we were the ones that volunteered for GMFA.

    1. Once the risks have been made known,and how to avoid them, (for all sexualities) it is obviously then down to the individual. What really puzzles me is that the risks have been known since the early eighties?

      1. The risks and consequences have been known for decades now, but those who hoover up prevention funds have failed in effectively transmitting that information effectively and articulately to the target audience.

        As a previous commentator notes, these charities did well to convey those consequences up until the mid 1990s with impactful campaigns that served as a genuine deterrent.

        However the advent of HAART in the mid 1990s proved to be a mixed blessing as they then proceeded to take their finger off the pulse, jumped into bed with the government and big pharma, and watered down the safe sex message accordingly.

        Since 1996 HIV infections have inexorably risen and will no doubt continue to rise in order to feed the multi-billion industry the virus has spawned.

        There are simply too many corporate interests and careers at stake for anyone involved to seriously want to see HIV eradicated any time soon…

        1. “There are simply too many corporate interests and careers at stake for anyone involved to seriously want to see HIV eradicated any time soon…”

          I agree that money-making at every level is hindering really effective HIV prevention.

          On the lowest level of money-making responsible for the spread of HIV are the clubs, bars, and saunas that encourage excessive drinking, drug-taking, and sex-on-site.

          On much the same level of money-making are the porno-makers who feed gay and bisexual men with polished and stimulating images of “raw” or “bareback” casual sex with strangers.

          At the highest level of money-making are the drug companies making absolute fortunes out of supplying extremely expensive drugs to treat all those who have discovered they have been infected by HIV.

          There are other levels involved. Brainstorm, and it’s easy to identify those others who also have their fingers in the pie.

          1. And lest we forget it is the sexual health charities that have fuelled the sexualisation and sleazification of gay culture by getting into bed with the sex industry and sponsoring hard sex club nights, green-stamping saunas, funding the hardcore extreme sex site for beginners – – and myriad other ventures and gimmicks that have demonstrably fuelled the spread of HIV.

            And while bending over backwards to target prevention efforts at the wild sex scene and those who have already made up their minds about the type of sex they want, the HIV sector has wilfully ignored the right of the majority of gay men to be properly educated and informed about exactly what living with HIV in the 21st century exactly means while totally ignoring a key driver of new infections:- the crystal meth sex party scene.

            We now know that the future provision of top line HIV meds is in question due to austerity measures, again something that’s been warned about for years but which they ignored.

    2. Spanner1960 24 Apr 2013, 11:43am

      I think the words ‘horse’, ‘water’ and ‘drink’ spring to mind.
      No matter how much promotion and education you spread around, there will always be those that think it won’t happen to them, and even when it does, they blame it on everyone or anyone except themselves.
      I have heard stories of people that get out of operating theatres after triple-bypass heart surgery and the first thing they do is go outside and light up a cigarette.
      I see a lot of parallels with this scenario.

      1. You are right to a point, Spanner:- so long as that information is wishy washy, unclear, wrapped up in cotton wool, confusing and lacking any kind of a deterrent factor then of course gay men will take notice.

        The message is the problem, here, not gay men’s attitude as a whole:- to a degree most certainly.

        Gay men can only take note and make informed choices if the message is impactful and insightful.

        Anyone care to recall when we had anything remotely like that?

        Nope, me neither.

        1. End of first paragraph:- of course gay men will NOT take notice (blush)…

        2. Spanner1960 25 Apr 2013, 8:53am

          Sorry pal, that is absolute hogwash.
          The way I see it is any gay guy that contracts HIV through consenting unprotected sex has only themselves to blame, and I have little sympathy.
          We have had this disease for well over 30 years now, and if you are unaware of what it is and how it transmits, you must have been living on a desert island for a long time.
          Not only has the gay scene and all its publications been awash with the stuff, it has been in the mainstream media too.
          Like I said previously, they blame it on everyone or anyone except themselves: They want scapegoats to point fingers at.
          This has nothing to do with ignorance, and everything to do with blatant stupidity and recklessness.

          1. Spanner, you wrote: “The way I see it is any gay guy that contracts HIV through consenting unprotected sex has only themselves to blame, and I have little sympathy.”

            So, the gay guy is stimulated by the flood of DVDs featuring promiscuous bare-back sex,

            the gay guy is told by the gay mags that he must make sure that he doesn’t miss out on the next big club-night of TOTAL BLISS & PURE HEAVEN,

            the gay guy trots along to a club on Friday or Saturday night with the best of intentions,

            and the gay guy becomes immersed in an environment where the management are pushing the alcohol, allowing the use of drugs, and enabling sex-on-site in a totally-dark backroom,

            and YOU have no sympathy when the gay guy is infected with an STD and possibly HIV?

            WAKE UP!


          2. Spanner, you say we’ve known about HIV for 30 years now.

            Well you might have and so might all other 40+ men.

            But what of today’s gay teens who’ve little or no awareness of the serious consequences of HIV infection?

            Weaned on THT campaigns that equate HIV with egg shells and that are indistinguishable from ads for the clap, you’re being extremely dusingenuous not to mention naive for stating they’ve themselves to blame.

            HIV has been glamorised by the HIV sector and youngsters don’t care because they’re told it’s treatable and won’t shorten lifespan.

            Baloney basically because no one knows how HIV will affect them and the meds affect different people in different ways.

            There’s so much mis- and disinformation out there and it’s peddled by the same people who’re funded millions to ensure the undistorted facts about the realities of living (and dying) with HIV are disseminated and targeted at the most vulnerable.

            It isn’t, and that’s why your argument doesn’t wash.

        3. Spanner1960 25 Apr 2013, 9:22am

          What would you prefer?:

          GMFA tried that and still failed.

          1. Spanner1960 26 Apr 2013, 1:34pm

            Why mark me down?
            It’s true. They have tried all the street language in an effort to educate people, and however you do it, they take no notice.
            The only thing that sometimes makes people stop is either when they are diagnosed, or someone they know drops down dead.

  5. So this campaign aims to eradicate HIV forever on the basis that if all infected people are identified and put on meds, neg people can effectively then have unprotected sex with them because the meds “can” prevent the HIV being passed on?

    How does this methodology work exactly?

    “Can” isn’t the same as “will”, yet how many of us will interpret this message as a go ahead to ditch condoms altogether if their partner(s) claim to be on a successful course of meds?

    Is that all we need to be told now?

    On I geddit, this campaign is brought to us by Nick Partridge’s THT, whose long-discredited effort to prevent the spread of HIV speaks for itself.

    The desperate siren call to testing and yet more testing as the default option to eradicate HIV at the expense of the “condoms always” message is intrinsically flawed because it relies on 100% of the target group to come forward to be tested, those infected being medicated and then no longer being infectious.

    Insanity in other words!

  6. I hope there is a big take up, anything that improves our health must be a good thing.

    Lets play safe guys and have long happy lives.

    14 countries now have equal rights, it just gets better to be alive every day.

  7. This is so depressing! When I saw the headline, I thought “Great! They’ve devised some new and really effective strategy!”

    But, no! We are simply informed of a simple truth that has always been the case, that “Gay and bisexual men in England have the power to halt the spread of HIV in their community within a generation”!

    Bloody hell! Is the Dept of Health staffed by morons? We KNOW that gay and bisexual HAVE THE POWER to halt the spread of HIV!

    The problem is: how can we get gay and bisexual men to ALWAYS EXERCISE THAT POWER, and that means acknowledging the role that drink and drugs play in robbing gay and bisexual men of their best intentions!!!!!!!!

    How depressing! “A major new campaign!” What a waste of money!

  8. That’s a relief. There I was thinking that the rising HIV crisis would continue unchecked,

    But, we now have a poster campaign from THT. Copies will be put up in all their offices and perhaps in the Toilets of Comptons. Perhaps, they will go all the way and have some really shiny plastic coated posters to make a real impact.

    That will sort the issue out once and for all, surely?

  9. As always follow the money trail and you will see it leads direct to the pharma industry’s door.

    That is not conspiracy theory, it is critical thinking.

    They are the only ones to benefit by the HIV prevention message being warped from “condoms always” to “Test! Test! Test.”

    We know the industry is corrupted (Glaxo are now in the dock once again for bribing the manufacturers of generic copies of their own drugs whose patents have expired to delay their arrival to market).

    We know Sir Nick has a track record of singing and bowing to Big Pharma’s tune and didn’t receive his knighthood for nowt.

    He is a fully-fledged member of the establishment, and to get there he sold the rest of us down the river.

    1. I don’t understand why the condom industry doesn’t more aggressively market their product to counteract the ‘“Test! Test! Test.”‘ message you reference.

      If it is all about the money then don’t they want to make money too?

      1. Spanner1960 24 Apr 2013, 4:28pm

        Because condoms are not designed or marketed as a means of prevention from infection.
        Condoms are contraceptives – ie. They stop women getting pregnant.
        The fact they do prevent a lot of STDs is not something manufacturers wish to advertise because they do NOT guarantee their safety, and they don’t want to get their arses sued off for misrepresentation of their products. Note all the safer sex ads are by health organisations, you will never see one by a condom company.

        1. Condoms also do not guarantee pregnancy prevention and they make this very clear, so why can they not do the same for HIV prevention?

          Plus when was the last time you saw a really big condom campaign in any format, they generally just ride off the backs of other peoples campaigns or sex education in general.

          I think it would be extremely difficult for someone with HIV to sue a condom company and claim that they’re the reason they’re HIV positive. They’d have to prove they did use a condom, that it wasn’t used incorrectly and that the company didn’t include warnings about it’s efficacy.

          1. You are correct, however condoms still remain by far the safest barrier to HIV infection.

            Why are HIV charities now seemingly going to great lengths to let us forget that by flagging treatments as the new prevention?

            People need reminding that treatments aren’t the panacea and progressively riddle the body with noxious synthetic compounds that, over the course of a variable number of years, pose their own life-eroding complications.

            Yet Treatments are being ruthlessly pushed for all manner of preventive measures these days, statins being a case in point, and it appears HIV prevention is now headed that way to the benefit only of the pharmas and those they successfully lobby and influence.

            How did it ever come to this?

          2. You are correct, however condoms still remain by far the safest barrier to HIV infection

            I know this so why not advertise it with a big campaign that just says “Ffs wear a condom”. It would be direct and to the point so that even when off your face you can still grasp this very simple message.

            I think condom companies should chase this revenue, regardless of spanner’s legal advice

          3. Spanner1960 25 Apr 2013, 9:12am

            Condoms may well not guarantee pregnancy prevention, but that is ultimately what they are designed for.
            They are tested for holes down to 3µm – (Human spermatozoon average about 5000nM across the head) – the HIV virus is on average 150nM in diameter.
            You don’t need to be a mathematician to work out that a hole over thirty times smaller than the test criteria means condoms are by no means safe.

            As for condom campaigns, that is firstly down to the manufacturers to have the budget, and marketing is humongously expensive – and they would probably not increase sales – which means it is left to the government to push the thing as a health campaign, and that kicks off other factors like social acceptability, which is why tampon ads show girls riding horses and toilet roll commercials have Labrador puppies instead of someone wiping their arse. Everybody knows what they are for but nobody wants to talk about it in polite conversation, and certainly not in TV ad breaks.

          4. Spanner1960 25 Apr 2013, 9:19am

            “condoms still remain by far the safest barrier to HIV infection”
            Actually, that is not true. The safest way is not to go around shagging all and sundry.

  10. An so the lavish “HIV Gravy Train” rolls along in just the same way that it has ever since HIV meds came on the scene in the mid 1990s.

    Today the train has blown its horns and delivered A GREAT ANNOUNCEMENT:

    “Gay and bisexual men in England HAVE THE POWER to halt the spread of HIV in their community within a generation”!

    And that’s it! Nothing else! And the train chuffs off again with all its well-paid workers onboard.

    It’s sheer gutlessness. Nobody will challenge all those different people and companies who are making money out of gay men getting drunk, getting high, forgetting their best intentions and getting infected with HIV!

    1. It all boils down to one simple fact:-

      If THT and the rest of the HIV industry seriously wanted to stem rates of infection with the aim of eventually eventually eradicating the disease, you can be damn well sure they would.

      And therein lies the rub.

      1. Spanner1960 25 Apr 2013, 9:16am

        One has to see a warped logic in the argument. When was the last time you saw an anti-Smallpox charity?
        If these people did their jobs, they would ultimately destroy their own livelihoods, as they would be surplus to requirements, so it is in their own best interests to prolong the work.

        1. An insightful reflection.

          I know a young man who works in an HIV/AIDS charity and his lifestyle is what many would call enviable. He’s frequently off round the continent on his weekends, enjoying himself in the playgrounds of exotic European cities.

          Up till reading your post I’ve simply thought that he’s one of those who just likes to fill his spare time with “travel”, but your post has made me realise that his “travel” is only possible because it’s funded by a permanent desk-job at an organization which by now should practically have PUT AN END to the spread of HIV!

          Well said, Spanner.

          1. Sorry, “Eddy”!

            (It really irks me that for some reason I have to fill in my name and my email address, in addition to doing a little arithmetic, EVERY TIME I post a message on PN! Once upon a time my details used to appear automatically.)

          2. FYI Eddy, many of the pharma-sponsored HIV jamborees, sorry, conventions where HIV charity representatives and NGOs the world over assemble to compare notes and what have you are held in some of the most exotic locations and five-star hotels imaginable.

            Our friends at THT are frequent attendees of these all expenses taxpayer funded junkets:- the very same ones who cry poverty as an excuse for closing down essential services while squirrelling away tens of millions of pounds in bequeathed assets for a rainy day which, somehow, seems never to arrive.

            Give them their credit:- would YOU want to give up such a five star lifestyle replete with plush central London offices (we’re talking Zone 1 here), exec car and gilt-edged pension plan?

            If you had a conscience, genuine compassion for others and a desire to do the right thing then of course you damn well would!!

  11. Interesting, well balance article on the new It Starts With Me Campaign here:

    Many of the commentators here may learn a thing or two about the rationale behind the campaign. Also watch the video on the campaign website, it clearly refers to condom use, rather than miss out the condom message which some here are suggesting.

    Overall not a bad campaign, but needs to be beefed up to a much larger scale to include TV / Radio / large format media to have any real impact.

    I think HIV Prevention England have done well on the limited resources available. DoH have contributed about £2miillion for each of the next 3 yrs, hardly a kings ransom is it? Not even a rounding error at the treasury!

    1. Please, ladies and gentlemen, do not indulge the troll or rise to his bait.

      Repeat after me lest you arecin the mood to be subjected to his tantrums or bullying tactics:

      “We are all wrong and only W6 is ever right and must always have the last word…”

      Repeat ad infinitum to fade out…

      1. The only individual baiting anyone is you Samuel. As I have said in another recent thread I will not be drawn by your attempts to bully & discredit. You carry on with your juvenile tactics if you so wish, you are only confirming what has been said about you in the past & you are making a fool of yourself.

        It is you who has an agenda, be that directed to HIV Charities, Pharma Co’s or me personally. For pity sake grow up & learn to debate like an adult rather then rely on the rhetoric that you have been using since 2011 if not before. What you do not know to be true you make up & most of your rhetoric is based on assumptions which have been proven to be wildly inaccurate, time & time again.

        Whatever your problem is with THT specifically, I suggest you take it up directly with them, rather than continue to use these comments pages to spew out all sorts of crap that has very little basis in reality. As for your personal vendetta against me you carry on if you want I’ve broad shoulders

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